The prison is run by HMPS as part of the South West Region. It has a capacity of 614 and the #1governor is called Steve Cross. As one wing of the prison is being refurbished (D wing) , capacity has been reduced to 520. The prison was originally built in 1883, but there have been numerous additions, extensions and renovations since that time. It serves the courts of Bristol and the South West; most of the prisoners remain at Bristol for less than 12 months.
- A wing: 126-bed unit, vulnerable prisoners.
- B wing: 99-single-cell unit,
- C wing: 148-bed unit, incorporating IDTS/drug recovery and first night
- D wing: 116-bed unit; under refurbishment
- E wing: segregation unit
- G wing: 125-bed unit, .
- Brunel unit, 17 bed, mental and physical needs prisoners